Diana Taurasi will always be a basketball legend for what she was able to achieve at UConn before taking the WNBA by storm, and while she prides herself on being a good role model, she’s not immune to losing her cool—which includes the time she got a technical foul for kissing an opponent.
The famed guard won three national championships during her time with the Huskies and more than lived up to the expectations surrounding her when the Phoenix Mercury selected Taurasi with the top overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft.
Over the course of her 19 seasons with the franchise, she’s racked up three championships, an MVP award, and 10 All-Star Game and All-WNBA First Team selections en route to being voted the best player in the history of the league. Oh, and she’s also padded her already stellar résumé with the help of the five gold medals she’s won while representing Team USA at the Olympics.
When you play for as long as Taurasi has, you’re inevitably going to run into trouble on the court every now and then, which is exactly what happened when the Mercury and the Lynx were facing off in the playoffs in 2013.
Diana Taurasi got a technical foul thanks to a kiss
Let’s set the stage, shall we?
On August 29, 2013, the Phoenix headed up to Minneapolis for a showdown with a top-seeded Minnesota squad that had beaten the Mercury in every single one of the five games they played against each other during the regular season.
While Taurasi and Co. were obviously hoping to turn the tides in the hopes of representing the Western Conference in the WNBA Finals, they got off to a very rough start in the best-of-three series. With a little over eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Lynx were sporting a massive 70-44 lead and the Mercury star was understandably fed up with her team’s lackluster performance.
The Mercury had the ball when Taurasi found herself getting into it with Minnesota guard Seimone Augustus to the point where the play was blown dead courtesy of a nearby referee who felt the need to intervene.
While he tried to separate the two players, he was unable to do so before Taurasi gave Augustus a peck on the lips in order to really earn the technical foul he’d seemingly decided to hit both of them with before stepping in.
I have to admit I absolutely love that move.
I’ve long maintained that if a UFC fighter simply smooched their opponent in the middle of a fight, they’d gain an immediate advantage because the other person would be too shocked to even know how to react in the moment; I’ve never stepped into the cage, but that would definitely be my signature move if I was trying to make a name for myself.
When asked about the intimate moment after the game, Taurasi sarcastically remarked, “We were just trying to make sweet love.” Augustus also opted to joke about what transpired, saying, “The tango dance that we had? I always say she just wanted some of my deliciousness.”
Taurasi was obviously having some fun with someone she’d known for a long time. She and Augustus faced off for the first time when they were playing AAU basketball growing up, and by the time of The Kiss, they’d already won a couple of gold medals while playing together at the Olympics (they’d made it three with a win in Rio in 2016).
The Lynx won the game (and the next game before beating the Atlanta Dream in the finals), but as far as I’m concerned, Taurasi won the mental game in this situation. It may not have swung the momentum in her favor, but I can’t help but respect it.